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PureDWTS Season 19, Week 9 – Power Rankings

I know I’ve been absent for awhile – chalk it up to an insane workload at my 9-5, some Comicon hijinx in Ohio, and a bridal shower in Texas this past weekend (check out my instagram for pix of the latter two – @putuincespence).  Literally, the busiest 2 weeks of my life.  8-O But I’m back now and there’s something I’d like to get off my chest with regards to TPTB…

STOP TRYING TO MAKE JANEL HAPPEN. IT’S NOT GONNA HAPPEN. And in fact, it very well could backfire – especially after what we saw from them tonight.  The viewers are not stupid – they can tell when you’re trying to wrap a turd in tinfoil and sell it to them as a candy bar. You’ve secured her spot in next week’s show – good for you.  But when you pimp and pimp and pimp a certain contestant with the objective of getting them to the finale, a funny thing often happens when they get there: they typically don’t place better than 3rd or 4th place.  Food for thought.

Moving right along…I see Carrie Ann & Julianne are back to riding high on the bath salts train, as neither one had very much credibility tonight – lots of nonsense being spewed, both positive & negative.  Len was a (sort of) stabilizing influence, who wasn’t afraid to speak up and tell them they were full of it, though even he wasn’t completely immune to the nonsense.  My only hope is that he can get really, really real next week – cause he seemed to be turning a blind eye to quite a bit this week that he would normally quite vocally object to. Read more..

November 11, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 7 – Power Rankings

Three cheers for an opening pro dance that I actually enjoyed! Thought it was cute how they worked in a Halloween theme.  At the very least, it wasn’t a bunch of  female bumping & grinding & hair-flipping…or Pitbull. 8-O

So Len was back, and as I kind of predicted – he was grumpy, and Julianne kind of reverted back to being the level-headed judge.  Carrie Ann is still the airheaded judge; I can’t even really remember anything Bruno said.  Overall, I don’t feel as though the quality of judging improved much with Len’s return – so I’m fine if he doesn’t want to come back next season.  Hell, I don’t really care if ANY of the judges come back next season ;-)

Kinda had an inkling that Antonio was toast the minute the judges started laying into him for a dance that really wasn’t that bad, in my opinion – it was probably Antonio’s best, and though he’s still kind of an awkward mover, he seemed to smooth things out quite a bit better this week.  But I’m guessing that he just wasn’t connecting with viewers – I felt like we never really got to see the real Antonio.  Wish he would have given us more of a peek into his work or family life.

1.) Bethany & Derek – Bethany was given great scores and great choreography this week, but here’s the odd part for me: in both her individual and team dance, there seemed to be moments where she just wasn’t…fully present.  It’s hard to describe, but it’s like she went into autopilot both times – not sure if she’s just really tired or burnt out, but she just didn’t seem as invested as she was in her tango last week.  Thought the concept and setting of her paso was great, and Derek gave her some great choreo in their team dance – but she just didn’t grab the bull by the horns like she normally does.  She wasn’t bad by any means – she was just not as dazzling for me as she usually is.  Maybe it was just this week and having to learn two dances – hopefully she’ll be back to 100% next week.  But she can leave the Maleficient/Queen Amidala hair – wasn’t loving that. Read more..

October 28, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 19, Week 3 – Power Rankings

Well, I guess the euphoria of having my dream contestant on DWTS would finally wear off – and this was the week that it happened.  What a three-ring circus of nitpicking, wonky scoring, and overall chaos.  From what I saw from the judges – crack is whack, and so is meth, heroin, and bath salts, apparently.  Julianne wins the “twatwaffle of the night” award, for generally just being a bit of a cranky b*tch – so in other words, she was filling in for Len.  Hooray.

Sorry, but the wrong person went home – Randy may not have been the best dancer, but he was not nearly as bad as the score he got last week OR this week…but hey, the judges need their scores & critiques justified, so they had to screw him somehow.  Absolutely no reason that he should have been forced to go first TWO weeks in a row, basically making a mad dash from the opening  number to the quickchange; and to add insult to injury, this week he had to do it after being told he was in jeopardy.  Classy, Wade. I just might have to spoil a bunch of sh*t early to get back at you…

…as for Kevin, I actually think he turned out being a pretty decent judge.  I liked that he didn’t seem like he was out to really critique anyone, and tried to see the positive in everyone’s routines.  Also enjoyed his humor, and thought it was kinda cool how he seemed genuinely moved by Bethany & Derek’s dance.  He can come back anytime and enthusiastically yell out scores ;-)

1.) TIE: Bethany & Derek and Janel & Val – So the first two perfect 40’s of the season.  I feel one was deserved; the other? Meh. Felt like an awful lot of emphasis was placed on Janel & Val’s struggles with switching the routine, there was a lot of futzing around at the beginning of the routine, and then the score was almost given as a consolation prize for putting up with the crap.  Sure, Janel handled what she was given decently well – she should, given her background – but a 40? For wiping Val’s abs with a towel? Sorry, not buying it.  But hey, they seem bound & determined to make Vajanel happen, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.  As for Bethany – I had been worried, after hearing that her ankle injury was still very much an issue; but thank the lord Derek was able to choreograph something that was true to Singin’ in the Rain while being feasible for her to execute.  God bless umbrella work that doesn’t go awry :-) And Bethany kept up, and for the first time, she really seemed 100% invested in the routine, which is what I’ve been wanting from her since the first week. I don’t see either going anywhere for awhile, but it should be interesting to see who fares better next week… Read more..

September 30, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 18, Week 9 – Power Rankings

Things I learned from last night’s show:

1.) Running prostheses are a beautiful thing.

2.) Bruno Mars, a half-Puerto-Rican, half-Filipino pop singer who has only been popular in the States for about the last 5 years, apparently meets the criteria to be considered an “American Icon”. Somewhere, Ronnie Van Zant is spinning in his grave (Freebird rumba FTW!)

3.) There will never be another Michael Jackson routine as good as Shawn & Mark’s “P.Y.T.” cha-cha in season 8.

4.) If you need to justify Ralphing a certain male contestant in order to ensure that your chosen one makes the finale, just make him do a samba to a Biggie Smalls song…and then tell him he’s not “funky” enough.

5.) When someone “brings out the best” in you, you hurl mic packs in fits of joy.

Yeah, last night was an odd night – there was the low-energy, less-skilled end of the spectrum (Candace & James) that was called safe right away, and then the actual contenders were kept in jeopardy till the end of the show and we ended up losing someone that many of us had pegged as the winner of season 18 back in March.  Yep, just as we all feared – Charlie got Ralphed, and it breaks my heart…I found him far more fun and engaging than Meryl all season long, and I thought Charlie was Sharna’s best shot at the MBT so far (and probably ever).  Charlie seemed to take it all in stride, but I think Sharna may be hurting for awhile – and I can’t blame her.  She did everything in her power to make Charlie shine this season, but just kept getting smacked down by the judges for no good reason (other than to protect the Princess).  I’m kinda hoping Karina sits down with her and gives her a pep talk, because she’s been there – and I’m hoping Sharna can return next season with a vengeance, and claim what should have been hers this season (just like Karina did with JR in season 13). Read more..

May 13, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 18, Week 9 – What’s Left to Dance? UPDATE

So somebody requested that I do an update to my first “What’s Left to Dance?” post, just to see what remaining dances the celebs have to do this season…or rather, which dances they might not get to at all :-(  I can’t recall another season where the celebs have had so many of the dances left to do with so little of the competition remaining – and I can’t say I’m enjoying it.  But before I get too far into it, here’s my handy-dandy chart, updated with everyone’s week 9 dances EXCEPT Amy & Derek (as they haven’t revealed theirs yet):

remainingdances2

So now to address some questions that are bound to pop up…

What dances are Amy & Derek doing next week??? I don’t know.  Haven’t heard anything official.  But there is a conspicuous gap in one section of the chart, so I would not be shocked to see Amy doing samba, since she’s the only person left that hasn’t already done it/will be doing it next week (in Charlie’s case).  Then again, maybe they think she’ll struggle with samba, and so they’ll give her paso doble instead…IDK.  No clue about the other dance – I would guess that it’s a ballroom dance, since she still has four she hasn’t done yet, but then again, it could also be jazz.  Who knows.  I guess my official “prediction” is samba and foxtrot…but that’s all it is, a prediction.  What do you think?

How many dances are they doing during finale week? And what kind? Again, I know nothing official, but obviously there will be a freestyle, and if Len griping about Charlie’s rumba in week 4 was any indicator, there will probably also be a redemption dance (a dance that the celeb didn’t do so well on the first time around, and could improve upon).  There’s probably also going to be a relay dance of some sort (probably something everyone has done – I’m guessing cha-cha or samba) and maybe some sort of instant dance/24 hour challenge (for the three that advance after the first night – I’m guessing someone will get eliminated after the freestyles on night 1.  Again, just educated guesses.

What about the trio dance??? AND THE PASO DOBLE???!!! I’m guessing the trio dance is kaput for this season, and I would be shocked if we saw another paso doble (unless Amy is doing it next week) since the finalists typically don’t do an unlearned dance in finale week (besides the freestyle).  Yes, it sucks. :-( I also doubt we’ll see another standard waltz or swing routine – seems like those were only brought in to fulfill specific purposes (Amy’s request to dance to a Cinderella song during Disney week, and Amy & Meryl saying they were most looking forward to doing swing in week 2).  Basically, unless someone’s doing it next week – we probably won’t see it again this season.  Sorry.

What do you think the couples will do as their redemption dance? I think it’s kind of a given that Charlie will get rumba, as Len made a point of saying it back in week 4. I would say that they’d saddle Amy with *cringe* waltz again, but I don’t see her being able to improve upon it that much – so I could see them letting her redo her cha-cha instead. Meryl will probably end up redoing rumba as well, which I’m sure will fit right into this Meryl vs. Charlie showdown they’ve been dancing towards all season.  If Candace makes the finale – hehe, she’s got a lot of dances that she could improve upon, but I think for the sake of variety, they’ll pick quickstep for her…she’s got both potential and room to improve on that one. If James makes the finale (and I’m leaning towards it being either Candace OR James that join the other three in the finale), I could see them giving him quickstep as well. That way, they ensure they get at least one ballroom redemption dance.

Will the freestyles be supersized? Given that they’ve been “supersizing” some of the regular dances this season, I don’t think they’ll suddenly opt for austerity and simplicity in the freestyle round…hell, I think the freestyles this time could be super-dupersized. Let’s put it this way: it would not surprise me if the couples called in the entire cast of Game of Thrones, the entire roster of the Miami Heat (blech), and/or the entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir to help with their freestyles at this point…it’s that out of control, kids.

Why are they leaving so many dances unlearned this season? :-( I don’t know, but it kind of gives me a sad. If I had to speculate, I’d say they just got too wrapped up in theme nights and trying to accommodate other random aspects of this season ( i.e. Meryl & Charlie’s travel schedule, Amy’s prostheses’, certain pros’ weaknesses as a choreographer, etc.) that they had to tinker with the dances a bit – why they decided to basically scrap the paso doble, I really don’t know, as that is one dance that it seems like almost anyone could do, regardless of their level of skill or physical abilities…it’s all about selling the performance.  So yeah…it’s a head-scratcher for me, too.

So there’s my thoughts on the remaining dances headed into the semifinals and finals.  What are yours? What unanswered questions do you have about this season?

May 7, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 18, Week 8 – Power Rankings

Much ado about Abby Lee Miller – and honestly, for as bad as I thought she might be, I think she scores she gave were (for the most part) fair, even if she was nitpicking to death on any technique flubs she could find. It was as if the producers had told her “nitpick all you want, but you can’t give any score below an 8″. And a few of the scores seemed a bit too perfect, if you ask me – as if they had be predetermined, because some of the critiques were not matching the scores AT ALL. What I don’t think the producers had planned on, though, was Abby being a bit of a loose cannon – she said a few things that made me go “Ooh, pretty sure the producers didn’t want that broadcasted.” Watching rehearsals??? Pretty sure the judges have always vehemently denied that they do that…yet Abby admitted it like it was a commonplace thing. And then there was Abby sorta-kinda outing Danicanotadancer as a highly trained dancer…I had a good chuckle on that one…

…speaking of Danica, did anyone else get the impression that she was not all that upset about getting eliminated? Maybe she kinda had an idea that her number was up and had already made peace with it, maybe she is just exhausted and eager to get back to her son, maybe the tiff with Maks during duel rehearsal left a bad taste in her mouth…but I didn’t see the emotional display from her I thought we would see when she got eliminated. I was expecting Brandy & Elizabeth Berkeley-esque tears and displays of desperation, given how Type A Danica seems to be…was pleasantly surprised to see her so gracefully accept the whole thing. Maybe in the end, she was glad to have all that pressure off of her to do well…can’t say I blame her.  And this season more than ever, I see the difference between the Chmerkovskiy brothers: Val seems to “get it”, while I’m not sure Maks EVER will.  I think Val is starting to understand what it takes to do well on DWTS, and is developing a more clever, out-of-the-box, Derek-like attitude about things; Maks, on the other hand, seems like an old dog who can’t learn new tricks – and he’s hellbent on winning the show on HIS terms or he’s gonna die trying.  I’ve always felt like Val was the better choreographer, but now I feel like he’s also got the right mindset to win this show someday – and I think Maks is just too set in his ways to really get flexible enough to win (unless he gets a ton of help from the men upstairs).

Which brings me to the “I don’t care about anything she says” heard ’round the world.  *sigh* Do I agree with the sentiment? Yes.  Do I think Maks was just saying what the rest of us were thinking? Yes.  Do I think it was smart of him to say? Errrrr…yes and no.  As I mentioned on Twitter, I wish he would have waited until after their duel had been scored to say it – because saying it after their first dance meant that there was a target on his back for their second dance.  Abby Lee was a complete jerkwad, no doubt – but she was also a jerkwad holding the scoring paddles, and a vindictive jerkwad at that.  What’s to say that Abby might have given them a 9 on that samba instead of an 8, had Maks not said what he said after their rumba? Sure, it was only one point, but you just never know – and this is why I almost always think it’s a better idea for the pros to just bite their tongue when they get the urge to talk back to the judges.  You just never know what the consequences might be…and often, its their celebrity partner that’s paying the price.  At least Val was smart enough to wait until the scores for their second dance were already locked in before talking back to Abby… Read more..

May 6, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 18, Week 6 – What’s Left to Dance?

So we’re at the halfway point in the competition – 5 more weeks to go, and there’s still 8 couples left…seems like a lot, but I guess numerically it makes sense.  We’ve got party anthem night this coming Monday, Latin night the following Monday, and then who knows.  Will the guest judges cease once we hit week 8? Will the themes cease? When’s the team dance? What other funky sh*t are they gonna throw our way between now and the finale? :-P

I don’t have ALL of the answers, but I’ll try and paint the clearest picture I can of the remainder of the season.  Here’s the list of what the remaining couples have left to dance in the coming weeks – I’ve already removed their party anthem week dances, so consider this the remaining dances for Latin week onward. I’ve added a bit of my own commentary as well.  And because I’m nice, I did it both a list format AND a handy-dandy chart. :-) I have a question mark by the Viennese waltz (see why below) and I honestly doubt we’ll see anyone else doing the swing this season, but I went ahead and included it since we did see it from two couples already. Read more..

April 17, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 18, Week 5 – Disney Week Song Predictions/Wish List!!!

Bye-bye, gadawful switch week – helllloooo, Disney week! This may be the one good idea TPTB have had the entire season :-D Sounds like a lot of you are pretty pumped about it – so why not get even more excited by compiling a song wish list and seeing if we might be able to predict what everyone might be dancing to, shall we?

Vogue & I came up with a list of the most popular Disney songs we could think of and divided them up by dance style – Deep Throat indicated that all the songs were probably going to be very well-known, so while I think it would be totes appropos to see Maks dancing to “Gaston” from Beauty & the Beast, it’s probably far more likely that he & Meryl have a song like “Beauty & the Beast” or “Be Our Guest”.

If you didn’t catch it yesterday, some of the couples revealed some clues about their dances in this media post Vogue posted yesterday.  Some other clues, which I revealed on Twitter yesterday? Both Meryl & Charlie have eschewed the expected “Disney princess/prince” roles that some were hoping they’d assume this week, and are both going for “something different”.  And because Peta is about as subtle as a sledgehammer (thanks, emojis) I’ll go ahead and throw out one song spoiler: James & Peta are, indeed, doing contemporary to “Let it Go” from Frozen. Happy Hump Day, kids ;-)
Read more..

April 9, 2014 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 17, The Finale – Power Rankings

*sigh* Well kids, all good things must come to an end – and last night, the inspired run that Bill had on DWTS this season came to a close.  As soon as the judges handed out that first bullsh*t score, I think I knew there was no way in hell they were gonna let Bill even get within striking distance of the MBT – but thankfully, Bill went out on a very high note: I don’t think Emma could have choreographed a more perfect routine for him than his freestyle :-) Just wish that the judges had given him just ONE pity 10, but again, I think they were afraid that giving him any excessively kind scores was going to prolong his stay…but it just became even more glaringly obvious when you take into account that each of the other couples got a perfect 30 on their freestyles.  I’m trying not to be bitter about it, but the fact that Len admitted that Bill “did improve” on his Viennese waltz, and then proceeded to give him the SAME SCORE as he got the first time around, just doesn’t compute for me.  Grrrrr.  But alas, I don’t know that poor Bill had the energy in him for more dancing tonight, so I’m partially relieved that the guy gets his life back now…now I just have to work on getting mine back.  Gonna miss Bill & Emma :-(

Speaking of that blasted “judges’ choice” dance – I don’t know what the hell was going on with the scoring & commentary there.  They tell Bill he improved, but give him the same score as the first time he did the dance; they tell Corbin he didn’t improve, but give him a higher score than the first time he did his dance.  I thought both improved, but from the way the judges were talking, you would have thought both had completely bungled their dances up even worse than the first go-round.  But once again, I think the judges had an agenda there, and the scores and commentary given for those two dances in particular had little to do with the actual quality of the dance.  The secret judges’ mission statement of finale week, night one seemed to be “make sure Bill goes home at all costs”. Oh well.

Gonna do my rankings in reverse order tonight – starting with 3rd place and working up to the winners.

3rd place: Corbin & Karina

Corbin’s a fantastic dancer, no doubt, and he definitely delivered in all three of his dances last night – but I’m still left just a bit chilly after watching him dance, and it seems to be a sentiment shared by many of our readers.  Something about Corbin’s dancing just doesn’t feel connected to me – it’s as if he’s dancing for himself each time, rather than for an audience, and the end result just seems to create a barrier that prevents me from really connecting to him.   As I said before, I thought his quickstep was an improvement, but I still felt a bit of a disconnect in it – like he was more in his own head than interacting with the audience.  He handled the samba pretty damn well for not having done it before – and while I do agree that he deserved to win the samba relay, I can’t really say that his samba was my favorite or the most fun to watch; it was just very technical.  His freestyle was pretty impressive and very ambitious – taking on MJ is no easy task, but both he & Karina did rise to the occasion.  Wish they could have made it their own a bit more, as opposed to just throwing in a small section of tango before breaking into a hodgepodge of MJ moves; I also could have done without the extra people, as they only came in for a small portion and they damn near dropped Karina during the one stunt they assisted with.  I think he’ll probably handle his cha-cha/foxtrot fusion decently well, but when it all comes down to it, I just have a feeling that he’s going to end up in third place – between the way the judges run hot & cold with him, to the way some of the viewers haven’t been able to connect with him, to a fanbase that I’m really uncertain about, I just think the best he can hope for is third.  Amber’s got the judges on her side, and Jack seems to have the viewers – not a whole lot left for Corbin :-(

2nd place: Jack & Cheryl

For what Jack lacked in terms of technique and energy last night, he more than made up for in heart :-) As I found myself tweeting more than once last night, I think poor Jack is just absolutely drained at this point – as someone who lives with someone with an autoimmune disease, I can tell you that the fatigue is neverending; sure, those suffering have good days and bad days, but most days they do just feel kinda sluggish…and on really bad days, they can barely get out of bed.  I think after 13 weeks, Jack is just plain pooped – and as a result, his first two dances got a bit bungled.  You could tell he was really trying hard with his jive, but he just didn’t quite have the energy to pick his legs up and he may have gotten a little foggy on the choreography.  At the very least, he admitted it wasn’t his best and he was mad at himself – I don’t think I would have been as sympathetic if he had acted like that jive was better than his first attempt.  I agree with Len about their samba relay – it felt a tad safe and slow-moving, but I’m wondering if that was an intentional choice by Cheryl in order to somewhat preserve his energy for the freestyle.  But man, was that freestyle something to behold – Jack seemed to come alive again, and I actually found that the Fred Astaire theme fit him remarkably well.  And the tears both he & Cheryl shed after getting through it flawlessly? Just precious.  If I think Bill & Emma were the best-matched couple of the season, I think these two were a very close second – I think Cheryl needed Jack just as much as Jack needed Cheryl, and this season has been an epiphany for both of them.  I gave all my votes to Jack this week, and I could have sworn that I saw Bill whisper “Now you win this mofo!” in Jack’s ear as the credits were rolling last night.  I actually think he’ll do quite well with his paso/salsa fusion – I think Corbin was pretty kind in giving him that, as he would have ended up with jive again, otherwise.  I think Jack may benefit from the fact that he’s the only remaining finalist that has really had a strong “growth” arc on the show, and also the fact that he’s fighting with an incurable disease as he’s been learning.  Saw a lot of Bill fans tossing their votes to Jack – I’m hoping it helps him pull out 2nd place.  Although seeing him hoist that MBT would be nice ;-)

 Winner: Amber & Derek

Amber was flawless last night – I don’t think she could have done any better with her Charleston or her freestyle. They must have really drilled synchronization when rehearsing that Charleston, because I didn’t see them out of step at all.  While they handled their samba relay routine well, it seemed to get a little repetitive to me – a lot of samba runs and pivots – and I think that may have been what Len was referring to when he said that one couple had “almost” nailed it.  Loved the concept and execution of their freestyle – the stepping was definitely something that’s never been done before for the freestyle, and this was one instance where the extra dancers actually served to enhance the routine as opposed to just being in it.  And best of all: it highlighted Amber and what she is capable of.  I doubt the samba/quickstep fusion will give them any trouble – just hope they don’t try to pull out “Sir Duke” yet again. Given their scores and the undoubtled large Glee fanbase,  I would be surprised if they didn’t win – still think there’s an outside chance that Jack maybe gained some support after last night, and there’s enough “Derek doesn’t deserve a 5th MBT” naysayers out there that it could make a difference – but at the end of the day, I think Amber deserves to win.

So what did you guys think of last night’s show? And who do you think will be walking away with the MBT tonight?

November 26, 2013 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!

PureDWTS Season 17, Week 10 – Power Rankings Headed Into the Finale

I’m a happy girl for two reasons – most of you can probably guess the first: Bill & Emma made the finale :-) The second? Leah & Tony did NOT make the finale, which I find myself even more thankful for after witnessing yet another night of Leah dancing like she’s made of glass.  Did she do the steps and stay on-time? Sure.  But I wasn’t excited or entertained by her dancing, and the choreography she was given wasn’t exactly hard-hitting or particularly challenging…which is funny, because the way she & Tony were acting, you would think they were dancing at a Nicole Scherzinger level of difficulty.  But alas, the judges finally seemed to call attention to her cautious performances, and ultimately she got sent home.  Darn, guys – I know you are all as disappointed as I am that we won’t get to see J.Lo & Chelsea Handler in the audience again ;-)

As for Maks judging – I’d say he was definitely much better than Cher, but maybe not quite as constructive as Julianne.  Chalk it up to nervousness or whatnot, but he seemed to ramble a bit – then again, at least the rambling was mostly praise and support for the couple he was critiquing.  And much like Julianne & Cher, he tended not to rock the boat a whole lot in terms of scores – there were a couple deviations here and there, but I don’t think they’re going to matter much in the great scheme of things.  I know, Amber & Derek fans, you’re pissed about the “9” he gave them for their jazz – but really, it’s one point amongst 350 that were given out last night, and her score was near-perfect.  Was it petty of him? Maybe.  But is it going to affect the outcome of the competition? Likely not.  I’m big into being selective about what I get upset about these days ;-)

On the whole, I think we got the best group of finalists we could ask for – we’ve got a high level of skill (Corbin), a high level of entertainment (Amber), a guy who’s really improved (Jack), and a funny guy that just seems to appeal to the masses (Bill).  There’s a little something for everybody, and I feel like all the couples left genuinely like each other and there’s not an ounce of bad blood between any of them, celeb or pro.  I’m calling this the “feel-good finale”, because it’s the first time in a long time (possibly EVER) that I don’t really care who wins – I’d be fine with any of the four walking away with the trophy.  Sure, I’d love to see Bill hoist that trophy, but I know that it’s not likely to happen, and I’m just thankful that he’s gotten this far :-)

1.) Amber & Derek – I’m giving Amber a slight edge over Corbin this week, simply due to cleanliness – both of her routines were near flawlessly executed, with a lot of synchronization in her jazz in particular.  I really enjoyed it, although I knew right off the bat that at least one of the judges (likely Len) was going to bitch about “too much sitting down” – to be fair, the opening section, as cool as it was, was really more of a hip-hop/tutting section than it was jazz, and I think that’s why Len just couldn’t really process it…even if he did think it was as cool and visually stimulating as I found it to be.  But it was a clever way for Derek to keep Amber off those injured knees, so I appreciated it, and once they finished it they did move into some more traditional jazz choreography.  I thought their Viennese waltz was very pretty, if not a tad repetitive – but then again, I’d rather take well-executed & repetitive over the “barely moving, dancing on eggshells” vibe I got from Leah & Tony.  I still think these two will be one of the last two standing with Corbin, but I’m not really sure which direction the odds are going to tip in – I think it could hinge upon the freestyle.

2.) Corbin & Karina – Two potentially perfect routines from these two last night – but the first one seemed to suffer from “excited puppy syndrome” and I think they may have tried to jam-pack a little too much into their tango, as it seemed to get a little hectic & sloppy at times.  Loved the theme and mood – but the execution wasn’t quite there.  Several frame issues, a couple bobbles on some dips and and trick moves – I’m just hoping that they can resist the urge to pack too much into their freestyle, because I could see them having similar problems…and I think it really could come down to the freestyle this season.  Their rumba was much better, and I’m thinking the slower pace allowed Corbin to really focus more on the technique and overall performance, which was beautiful & haunting.  I love Karina’s rumbas :-) As I said before, I still think it’s going to come down to these two and Amber & Derek in the final two, and it may come down to who has the better freestyle – Amber may have the edge there by virtue of having Derek, but I think Corbin may have the edge in that he isn’t injured and can do a bit more than Amber.  Will be interesting to see who comes out on top.

3.) Jack & Cheryl – As I was watching Jack dance last night, I found myself saying “I’m gonna be really, really disappointed if this guy does not make the finale.” And this is coming from someone that has rooted for Bill all season long – after Jack had danced his 2nd dance, I had resigned myself to the fact that I probably was not going to get both Jack & Bill in the finale, and was ready to forego having Bill if it meant Jack could stay, because he really has had a lovely journey this season.  And the best part: Cheryl’s been there with him every step of the way.  I seriously think Jack was what the doctor ordered for Cheryl – seeing her in tears last night after dancing with him showed me that she’s got a newfound investment in the show, but also that she does have feelings…feelings that had been hard to see underneath a perceived indifference I saw from her the past few seasons.  But all that aside – I think Jack had a pretty good night last night.  While his jazz wasn’t my favorite (likely because Jack is just downright MAJESTIC in-hold, and this was predominantly open work), he still looked really invested in it, and I did enjoy some of the lifts.  His Argentine tango was the dance of the night for me – once again, Jack comes alive in-hold, and really seems to lead Cheryl; and those lifts were both creative and well-executed.  Even his footwork was looking sharp and on-point…and I loved every moment of it :-) I think Corbin & Amber probably have 1st and 2nd place on lock this time, but I’m hoping that Jack really gets the chance to wow us with a freestyle to pull out 3rd place. 

4.) Bill & Emma – What can I say about Bill & Emma that I haven’t already been saying all season? He just makes me smile when he dances :-) It’s not about technique or rhythm when I watch him dance – it’s all about how invested in the dance he is, despite any difficulties he’s having with the technical aspects of the dance.  Was his cha-cha off-time? Sure.  But it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of it.  I actually thought his Argentine tango was kinda impressive, though – he had some nice leg lines and handled the lifts and the character of the dance well, and I have to commend Emma for some Derek-esque cleverness in choreographing a good portion of the dance around a chair, since Bill was fighting with a groin injury. I’m both shocked and thankful that they made the finale (even though I know the Rioters are a force to be reckoned with ;-)), and I’m actually really looking forward to what Emma pulls out for a freestyle.  I think I read somewhere on Twitter last night that this is the first time since Lacey in season 7 that a first-time pro has made the finale – cool to see some new blood showing off their freestyle skills.  I doubt Bill & Emma can hope for much more than 4th place, but at least we get to see them dance one last time and they get to say they’re finalists :-)

So what did you guys think of last night’s show? Did the right people make it into the finale?

November 19, 2013 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble. Check out some of my other work at pureamericasgottalent.com!